Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

crawl

play
verb \ˈkrȯl\

Simple Definition of crawl

  • : to move on your hands and knees

  • : to move with the body close to or on the ground

  • : to move slowly

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of crawl

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to move slowly in a prone position without or as if without the use of limbs <the snake crawled into its hole>

  3. 2 :  to move or progress slowly or laboriously <traffic crawls along at 10 miles an hour>

  4. 3 :  to advance by guile or servility <crawling into favor by toadying to his boss>

  5. 4 :  to spread by extending stems or tendrils <a crawling vine>

  6. 5 a :  to be alive or swarming with or as if with creeping things <a kitchen crawling with ants> b :  to have the sensation of insects creeping over one <the story made her flesh crawl>

  7. 6 :  to fail to stay evenly spread —used of paint, varnish, or glaze

  8. transitive verb
  9. 1 :  to move upon in or as if in a creeping manner <all the creatures that crawl the earth>

  10. 2 :  to reprove harshly <they got no good right to crawl me for what I wrote — Marjorie K. Rawlings>

Examples of crawl in a sentence

  1. Does the baby crawl yet?

  2. We got down on our knees and crawled through a small opening.

  3. The baby crawled across the floor toward her mother.

  4. The soldiers crawled forward on their bellies.

  5. The snake crawled into its hole.

  6. They're doing construction on the road, so traffic is crawling.

  7. I worked late into the night, and it was 2 a.m. before I finally crawled into bed.

  8. The bus crawled along the rough and narrow road.

  9. The days slowly crawled by.

  10. Work on the project has crawled to a standstill.



Origin of crawl

Middle English, from Old Norse krafla


First Known Use: 14th century


2

crawl

noun

Simple Definition of crawl

  • : a very slow speed

  • : a way of swimming in which the swimmer lies facing down in the water and moves first one arm over the head and then the other while kicking the legs

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of crawl

  1. 1 a :  the act or action of crawling b :  slow or laborious progress c chiefly British :  a going from one pub to another

  2. 2 :  a fast swimming stroke executed in a prone position with alternating overarm strokes and a flutter kick

  3. 3 :  lettering that moves vertically or horizontally across a television or motion-picture screen to give information (as performer credits or news bulletins)

Examples of crawl in a sentence

  1. Near the construction site, traffic had slowed to a crawl.

  2. The bus was moving along at a crawl.

  3. Her strongest stroke is the crawl.



1818

First Known Use of crawl

1818

Other Broadcasting Terms



CRAWL Defined for Kids

1

crawl

play
verb \ˈkrȯl\

Definition of crawl for Students

crawledcrawling

  1. 1 :  to move slowly with the body close to the ground :  move on hands and knees

  2. 2 :  to go very slowly or carefully <Traffic was crawling along.>

  3. 3 :  to be covered with or have the feeling of being covered with creeping things <The food was crawling with flies.>




2

crawl

play
noun

Definition of crawl for Students

  1. 1 :  the act or motion of going very slowly <Traffic is at a crawl.>

  2. 2 :  a swimming stroke performed by moving first one arm over the head and then the other while kicking the legs





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up crawl? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

expressing little or no emotion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ